DPWH, NLEX speed up work on NLEX Connector from Caloocan to España

Published January 20, 2021, 5:28 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Aiming to complete the project by yearend, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corporation are accelerating the construction of the first five-kilometer section of the NLEX Connector from Caloocan Interchange, C3 to España, Manila.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, who led the project inspection along 4th Avenue in Caloocan City together with NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista on Wednesday reported that the right-of-way delivery for the whole alignment stands at 81 percent, while construction progress is at 16 percent.  

“With the commitment of both the public and private sectors, we are optimistic that we can finish the project as scheduled,” he said.

Spanning a total of eight kilometers, the DPWH said the full NLEX Connector will be an all vehicle class elevated expressway that will traverse the C3 Road in Caloocan City pass through Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Dimasalang, España, Magsaysay Boulevard and eventually connect with the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa in Manila.

It added that the P23-billion NLEX Connector will feature four toll plazas and interchanges in C3 and  España. 

DPWH said it is also seen to provide better access to Manila Ports (North Harbor) and airports (NAIA and Clark), and expected to reduce travel time between NLEX and South Luzon Expressway from two hours to just 20 minutes.

“The project will also provide trucks with a 24 by 7 alternative route, enabling the unhampered delivery of goods and stimulating economic development in Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and surrounding areas,” said the department in a statement.

DPWH and NLEX officials also witnessed another milestone for the project, the launching of Super T girders which are innovative, pre-stressed box girders that are widely used for bridges in Australia and New Zealand but relatively new in the Philippine construction industry. 

According to DPWH, the newly installed Super T beams span 30 meters and weigh 53 tons. 

“Compared to other types of girders, Super T beams are more flexible, structurally efficient, and aesthetically appealing. They have open flanges that provide a complete working surface and reduce the need for formworks and thus help fast-track the construction of the elevated expressway,” the department said.

NLEX Corporation President and GM Bautista said since innovation is one of the core values of their company, they are using Super T beams to “advance our construction progress so we can soon complete this crucial infrastructure that would help decongest Metro Manila and solve truck ban woes.”

DPWH said over 1,400 girders will be used for the entire Connector project. 

“The structural format of a Super T provides an optimal solution to particular challenges posed by the Connector project, which passes through urbanized areas where the roads are already congested, and the right-of-way is constrained laterally,” it said.

Last year, DPWH, NLEX, and Meralco facilitated the clearing of electric facilities in Sta. Cruz, Manila. More than 300 Meralco linemen simultaneously worked to clear a portion of the right-of-way. The said activity involved the installation and retirement of around 160 electric poles.